Do you want to learn how to make dried cinnamon apples in the oven? If so, you are going to love these EASY dehydrated cinnamon apples with no sugar and no oil. I’m going to give you step-by-step instructions to make this simple two-ingredient recipe. Learn how to pick the best apples for dehydrating, tips, and everything else you need to know to make this vegan apple cinnamon snack.
It’s winter where I live, and the freshest fruits available tend to be apples, pears, and oranges. These make it into my grocery cart just about every week. As a result, I am always looking for things to make with these fruits.
Sometimes eating the same fresh fruits over and over gets a little dull. It’s nice to change things up from time to time.
That is where my dried cinnamon apple slices recipe comes in. This baked apple chips recipe makes an easy snack that will leave you savoring the flavors of fall. (Or around here, fall and winter!)
And if you don’t have a food dehydrator, no worries! We’re using an oven for this simple two-ingredient recipe. Make this one on the weekend so you can tend to it and enjoy the smell of apples and cinnamon while it dries.
I find that not adding sugar to fruit helps me to appreciate the natural sweetness in the fruit more. It may be worth it to keep trying if you don't like fruits without adding sugar.
Drying apples concentrates their sweetness and can be a great stepping stone to enjoying fruit without added sugar. Why not try them with this easy recipe? You may find you like them just as much as the cinnamon and sugar apple chips from the store.
- Best Apples for Dehydrating
- Why will you LOVE these apple chips?
- How to Make Dehydrated Cinnamon Apples in Oven
- Temperature for Dehydrating Apples
- How Long to Dehydrate Apples
- Tips for Dehydrating Apple Slices
- Expert Tips from a Dietitian
- How to Use Dried Apples
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Other Apple Recipes You May Enjoy
- And now for the disclaimer…
- 📖 Recipe
Best Apples for Dehydrating
There are a lot of rules out there concerning which apple type is best for this or that. I’d say that if you like the flavor of a certain apple variety, you will probably enjoy it dehydrated. Try experimenting with your favorite apples first.
I suspect that red delicious apples might not work here, but I tend to dislike them in general. I used pinova apples in the photos and recipe video, simply because that’s what I had. They made a lovely dehydrated apple.
That said, my favorite apple for snacking, baking, and this dehydrated apple chip recipe is the Cortland apple. This variety is firm, crisp, and sweet-tart, making it a great all-purpose apple. They are also resistant to browning, perfect for those who want apple slices that stay fresh-looking.
We used to live about 30 minutes from Cortland, NY, where Cortland apples were in abundance. Now that we are in Connecticut, Cortlands are more difficult to find in grocery stores. Thankfully many of our local orchards grow them, and we pick some every year when we visit!
Why will you LOVE these apple chips?
It’s often the simplest recipes that win us over and keep up coming back. Here’s why these cinnamon apple crisps might become a regular thing in your household:
- Apple Chips Without Sugar and Oil Added: Most of the apple chips from the grocery store (including Seneca apple chips) have added sugar and added oil. There are a few store-bought options that are just apples (e.g., Bare apple chips), but you’ll save money making your own.
- Great Way to Use Mealy or Bruised Apples: Unlike many fruits, apples can stay fresh for weeks (and possibly months). However, if you do have some apples that sat for too long in the fruit drawer of the fridge, use them here! Once you slice them up and dry them, no one will know they were ever less than perfect.
- Flexible Recipe works with a Variety of Fruits: You can make dehydrated pear chips using this same recipe, just substitute pear slices for the apples. I’ve even made orange chips using this recipe; there's no need to remove the rind if you cut them thin enough. (P.S. I was the only one in the house who liked the orange chips, but it’s something else you can try.)
- Free of Major Allergens: This recipe is free of the eight top food allergens and can fit most special diets. It’s vegan, whole food plant based (wfpb), Paleo, soy free, gluten free, dairy free... you get the idea.
- Helps Bump Up Your Fruit Intake: For some, serving apples as chips tends to make them more appealing than eating them fresh. This recipe definitely works in my family as a way to increase fruit intake.
- Sweet and Delicious: IMVHO snacks should taste good and these definitely meet that criteria! Fruits and veggies can make tasty snacks.
You will need to shop for DAYS to get all of the ingredients needed for dehydrated cinnamon apples. Just kidding! Hahaha Here’s all you need:
- A couple of medium apples
- Pumpkin pie spice or ground cinnamon
Pumpkin pie spice contains cinnamon, so your crisps will have cinnamon in them whether you use pumpkin spice or actual cinnamon. In addition, you’ll also want the following pieces of kitchen equipment to make this recipe:
- A sharp knife or mandoline slicer
- Parchment paper
- A large dark cookie sheet
Notice two things that you DON’T need to make this recipe- an apple peeler and a corer. The first time I made this recipe, I made dehydrated cinnamon apple rings, carefully coring each apple before drying.
They’re kind of pretty, but I feel that it was a waste of time to do it this way. Plus, I’m pretty sure I ended up wasting more apple than when I dried whole slices. So, my recommendation now is to skip the apple corer for this one.
How to Make Dehydrated Cinnamon Apples in Oven
It’s best to start this recipe in the morning on a day you’ll be hanging around the house. You’ll need to be around to check on the apples and flip them occasionally.
Begin by lining a large baking tray with parchment paper. Rinse and dry your apples.
Cut your apples into even slices, making the slices as thin as possible. ⅛-inch to ¼-inch thick slices are good.
It’s important to slice them evenly so that they will all be finished dehydrating at about the same time. A mandoline can do a wonderful job with this, but I’m always worried I’ll slice a finger. A sharp knife works here too!
Sprinkle the apple slices with cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, spreading the spices as best you can. It’s fine if they’re a bit splotchy with spices.
If you want them to be perfectly dusted with cinnamon, a baker’s dusting wand can help you out. It’s really for aesthetics only; I own one and did not bother using it with this batch. I promise that it won’t make a difference either way with your finished chips.
Arrange the apple slices in a single layer on the baking tray. They should not touch or overlap.
Any slices that are slightly thicker than the rest should be placed on the outer edges of the baking tray. The slices on the edges tend to dehydrate a little faster.
Make sure one of your oven racks is in the lowest possible position (right above the bottom heating element). It’s time to preheat the oven!
Temperature for Dehydrating Apples
I dehydrated apples at my oven’s lowest temperature, 170 degrees Fahrenheit. My food dehydrator only goes up to 155 degrees Fahrenheit, so the oven should dry apples more quickly.
If your oven does not go down to 170F, use the lowest temperature that you can. Your apples will likely dry faster than mine if you are using a higher temperature.
How Long to Dehydrate Apples
Place the baking tray with the apples on a rack in the lowest possible position in the preheated oven. It will take a total of 6-7 hours to get your dehydrated apple chips crispy in the oven. Be sure to flip them over and check on them every 1½-2 hours or so.
Your apples are done when they are completely dry and crisp. They will have shrunk considerably in size, and some will have ruffled edges. Keep them in the oven longer than the time I have specified if you need to.
On the other hand, if your apples seem to be done before 6 hours is up, remove them from the oven. There will be some variation in dehydrating times depending on the apple variety you use and how thick you cut them.
This is a very relaxed recipe. At such a low temperature, it’s difficult to burn the apples. It’s a good one for the baking novices out there!
When the apples have finished dehydrating, let them cool and enjoy. I bet you’ll find they disappear fast!
Tips for Dehydrating Apple Slices
Some of these tips were mentioned above, but let’s review:
- Cut the apples into even slices: It is important to cut the apples into slices of even thickness if you want them to finish cooking at the same time.
- No need to core and peel: Save yourself some work and skip coring and peeling the apples. Just slice them and you’ll be good to go. Nutritionally, you’re getting more fiber with the peels, so might as well keep them!
- Make your own pumpkin spice: If you don’t have pumpkin spice in your kitchen, a blend of cinnamon with a touch of nutmeg can serve as a substitute. The aroma of spices while baking these spiced apple chips will tantalize your senses. You can make plain apple chips, but a little cinnamon makes them so much better.
- Don’t package until completely cool: If you package your dehydrated cinnamon apples too early, you risk trapping excess moisture with them. Wait until they reach room temperature to put them in a bag or container.
- Consider vacuum sealing for longer-term storage: Vacuum sealers are wonderful for long term food storage. I use my FoodSaver vacuum sealer all the time.
- Use them as a gift: Homemade dehydrated cinnamon apple slices can make a simple but thoughtful gift for friends and family. Try packaging them in a mason jar with a pretty ribbon and tag. I bet they’ll love them!
Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). This recipe gets a bump to level 3 because it is dried fruit. If you have a weight loss goal, I recommend sticking mostly with fresh fruit rather than dried fruit or fruit juice.
Dried fruit has had water removed, while fruit juice has had the fiber removed. Fiber and water are the components in fruits and vegetables that add volume to help keep you full.
That's why I suggest you stick to fresh, whole fruits if you are trying to create a calorie deficit for weight loss. Fruits canned in juice or water and then drained are another good option (and they tend to cost less than fresh fruit).
I like this recipe as an afterschool snack for fruit and veggie-resistant children. Dried fruit may be especially appealing to children because we’re concentrating sweetness when we remove the water.
We’re also creating a higher calorie snack that may help them meet high energy needs related to growth and development. Some kids who have trouble finishing one apple can easily eat 3-4 apples worth of apple chips!
Drying your fruits is also a super way to preserve foods and help to prevent food waste. You may want to keep dried fruit on hand if you live in an area with a lot of power outages. We lose power a lot in my area, so I always have dried and freeze-dried foods in case of emergencies.
Even though dried fruit is higher in calories than fresh fruit, it’s not “bad” or unhealthy. As I alluded to above, there are some circumstances where dried fruits may actually be the “better” choice. IMVHO, it’s great that all of these whole food options are available to meet a variety of needs.
How to Use Dried Apples
My family’s favorite way to use these dehydrated cinnamon apples is as a snack! You could also incorporate your cinnamon apple chips into recipes, such as this Apple Pie Chunky Granola Recipe. One more idea is to use these crispy apples in place of one of the veggie servings in the Butcher Block Recipe.
Dehydrated cinnamon apple slices are perfect to take on hikes, long bike rides, and camping trips. They’re a great whenever you need a portable snack that doesn’t require refrigeration or much space. I think you’re going to discover lots of ways to use them!
Frequently Asked Questions
In my house, this dehydrated cinnamon apple chips recipe disappears quickly! My family tends to start picking them off of the baking tray the minute they come out of the oven. How long dehydrated apples last will depend on how thoroughly the moisture was removed. If you keep them stored in an airtight container or vacuum-sealed bag, they should last at least a week.
Some store-bought apple chips will last for a year. While your homemade apple chips don’t contain preservatives, they could (in theory) last 3-6 months or more. If you attempt to store them this long, be sure to discard if they develop mold, questionable smells, or any other indicators of spoilage.
These no sugar dehydrated apples count as a serving of fruit and contain most of the nutrients in a fresh apple. I do consider unsweetened dried fruit to be a healthy choice.
Dehydrating fruits, including apples, concentrates their natural sugars, fiber, and most essential nutrients. Certain nutrients (such as vitamin C) that are sensitive to heat, light, or prolonged storage may be partially lost in dried fruits. Enjoying fruits and vegetables in a variety of forms (fresh, canned, dried, etc.) can help ensure you meet your nutrient needs.
I personally enjoy the golden tan color of dried apples. If you feel differently, you can choose an apple variety that is resistant to browning (such as Cortlands). You could also try soaking cut apples in a saltwater solution to prevent browning. According to this Serious Eats article, salt water works even better than lemon juice to keep apple slices white.
If you don’t want your dehydrated apples to be crispy, try dehydrating them for less time. About 5 hours in a 170F oven should get them closer to fruit leather in pliability rather than a crispy chip. (Note: your chewy dried apples may not last as long in storage as the crisp version since less moisture was removed.)
Dehydrated food is exposed to low heat over a long period, drawing out the moisture. Freeze-dried food is frozen and then put in a vacuum that removes the moisture. Dehydrating food tends to lead to a greater loss of volume (shrinking) than freeze-drying does.
No, apple chips are not a keto-friendly food because they are relatively high in net carbohydrates. One serving of this dried cinnamon apples recipe provides 20.9 net carbs and 96 calories per serving.
Other Apple Recipes You May Enjoy
Have a few too many apples on hand? You’re in luck, because I happen to have lots of recipes using apples for you! Here are a few to get you started:
- Slow Cooker Applesauce Recipe (No Sugar Added)
- Kale Apple Slaw with Brussels Sprouts, Tahini, and Dates
- Cinnamon Apple Steel Cut Oats | Apple Spice Oatmeal
- Sugar-Free Apple Crisp
- Chicken Salad with Apples and Pecans
And now for the disclaimer…
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats with yogurt post. Let's get cooking!
Dehydrated Cinnamon Apples (No Sugar, No Oil, Vegan, Paleo)
- 2 medium apples
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice, your choice)
- Note: Start this recipe in the morning on a day that you'll be home.
- Make sure one of your oven racks is in the lowest possible position (right above the bottom heating element). Preheat the oven to 170°F (76.7°C). Line a dark baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Rinse and dry your apples. Do not peel them.
- Slice the apples into ⅛-¼ inch (0.3-0.6 cm) thick slices. Aim to slice them into an even thickness so that they will all be finished cooking at the same time.
- Sprinkle the apples with the cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice. Spread the spices around as best you can (it's ok if the apples are a bit splotchy with spices).
- Arrange the apple slices in a single layer on the lined baking tray. They should not be touching on the tray.
- Tip: Any rings that are slightly thicker than the rest should be placed on the outer edges of the baking tray. This will help them to cook faster.
- Place the baking tray with the apple slices on the lowest rack in the oven.
- Dehydrate the apples for a total of 6-7 hours, flipping every 1½-2 hours or so. They are finished drying when they are crisp with slightly ruffled edges. You may need to remove some of the chips from the oven before others if they were not cut evenly. There will also be some variation in drying time depending on the apple variety you used.
- Remove from oven and let cool before eating, Enjoy!
This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). This recipe gets a bump to level 3 because it is dried fruit. If you have a weight loss goal, I recommend sticking mostly with fresh fruit rather than consuming dried fruit or fruit juice. Dried fruit has had water removed, while fruit juice has had the fiber removed. Fiber and water are the components in fruits and vegetables that add volume to help keep you full. That's why I suggest you stick to fresh, whole fruits if you are trying to create a calorie deficit for weight loss. Fruits canned in juice or water and then drained are another good option (and they tend to cost less than fresh fruit). I like this recipe as an afterschool snack for fruit and veggie-resistant children. Dried fruit may be especially appealing to children because we’re concentrating sweetness when we remove the water. We’re also creating a higher calorie snack that may help them meet high energy needs related to growth and development. Some kids who have trouble finishing one apple can easily eat 3-4 apples worth of apple chips! Drying your fruits is also a super way to preserve foods and help to prevent food waste. You may want to keep dried fruit on hand if you live in an area with a lot of power outages. We lose power a lot in my area, so I always have dried and freeze-dried foods in case of emergencies. Even though dried fruit is higher in calories than fresh fruit, it’s not “bad” or unhealthy. As I alluded to above, there are some circumstances where dried fruits may actually be the “better” choice. IMVHO, it’s great that all of these whole food options are available to meet a variety of needs. Nutrition information is for one serving of the recipe.